According to Rapport and Workspace Analyst Lily Bernheimer, how organisations adapt to a new generation of workers, and how you can utilise these insights to future-proof your office workspace and design will be crucial in 2020.

What impact will technology and cloud-based services have on the future office?

Technological innovation is transforming our working spaces, hours, and practices at an unprecedented rate of change. As the technology for communication, collaboration, and organisation improve, flexible and distributed working will continue to grow. But these trends are countered by the need to have high-quality spaces for face-to-face interaction when workers do come together.

Not only will these technologies have an impact on greater productivity, but the immediate and future effect of a new generation of workers vs the need for less traditional office space is a factor all businesses need to consider.

What trends or shifts do you predict with the new generation of employees?

These overall trends appear to be even more salient with the younger generation of workers. Millennials are more “fickle” (or flexible!) in their careers, quickly moving on to new opportunities if their high expectations for jobs and workplaces are not met.

International research has found that 56% of Millennials, especially those in the UK and US, preferred flexible working arrangements. Younger workers tend to want to find a job that is an expression of their identity. A workspace that allows them to express their identity is a big part of this.  

It is also important to consider the ageing population of workers. As the age of retirement increases, businesses need to be able to cater to both a new generation of workers and older workers.

Getting the balance right isn’t as difficult as it sounds; as many parallels and considerations of office design and office space can affect people of all ages equally.

Jeremy Myerson makes some valuable points in an article about ageing workers in The Guardian here.

What’s a Time and Space Utilisation study? How can it benefit businesses in the future direction of their workspace design and employee wellbeing? 

Time and Space Utilisation Study is a systematic assessment of how a workspace is used over a normal working week. Quantitative methods such as behaviour mapping and decibel measurement are combined with qualitative data to present a picture of how fully your businesses space is being utilised, and how well it is meeting individual and team working needs. Different organisations need different workspace “tools” to work at their best—a utilisation study reveals how well a workspace is performing. It identifies areas that can be made better use of, for example;

*How many hours a week are workers in the office?

*How much space is needed for different functions and teams?

*Will technological advancements reduce the need for extensive office space?

These crucial insights transform an office move or fit-out into a valuable opportunity to make the workspace support organisational performance and employee well-being.

We work closely with businesses to identify these needs based on the businesses future direction and advice best practices based on the analysis.

Working closely with Rapport’s services in this way can help make long-term financial savings and the longevity of any design or relocation of a business.

Come and speak to us about your workspace project on 01252 712590 or info@rapport-solutions.org.uk

The data from this article comes via the Tomorrow’s Home: Social Trends Report written and researched by Lily, in consultation with Robert Adam, Hugh Peter, ADAM Urbanism, Kurt Mueller, Grainger.

The Design and Workspace Analysis offers businesses the opportunity to assess how their workspace is used. Quantitative methods such as behaviour mapping and decibel measurement are combined with qualitative data to present a picture of how fully space is being utilised. And how it is meeting individual and teams working needs.

The utilisation study reveals how well a workspace is performing and identifies areas that can be improved upon, such as:

*How many hours a week are workers in the office?
*How much space is needed for different functions and teams?
*How will the future needs of the business affect the space we need?

The crucial insights transform an office move or fit-out into a valuable opportunity to make the workspace truly support organisational performance and employee wellbeing.

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We sat down with Jeanette Grover Rapport’s Project Director and our independent designer Will to find out what considerations need to be addressed when considering budgets for your workspace design or fit-out.

What’s your advice on workspace utilisation?

Jeanette: That’s driven naturally, given limited, available good quality space and the cost associated to today’s work space.  Space needs to be utilised effectively.

Will: In terms of the look and feel from a furniture perspective, creating flexibility’ while balancing privacy is an important aspect.

Open plan space has its benefits, enabling increased occupancy and flexibility to change within an organisation.  However, considerations to noise and privacy will be paramount to its users and their long-term health.

White noise systems, acoustic flooring, wall and ceiling panelling can all be incorporated effectively into the design of the working space, depending on the individual need.

A successful design/designer and management team should provide a functional space that’s realistic, flexible AND atheistically pleasing.

What building constraints could there be?

Will:  Older buildings with smaller floor plates can divide an organisation and increase fit-out costs.

Restructuring and improving departmental efficiencies by being more strategic in its designed environment is crucial.


Can a budget have an impact on the effectiveness of design?

budgets Jeanette: Budget comes in conjunction with the design process and building selection.  Some clients don’t have a clue what their budget is.

The selection of the most appropriate procurement route should always be based on client needs. Consider, as an absolute minimum, programme, cost and quality expectations.

You can design creating minimal cellular space within the right building and therefore, the budget is not going to be high.   Or you can design high spec, and the budget is naturally higher. One can’t come without the other.

Taking early professional advice, understanding your organisations’ future needs and planning at least 6-months before you need to move (dependent on your lease terms) or refurbish plans will all assist in managing project costs.

Jeanette: Rapport are well placed to offer an independent assessment to identify the best procurement route for our client. One of the benefits of appointing a company like Rapport is we independently manage the entire project programme.

A turnkey ‘Design and Build’ process whereby you have design and contractor working together can make it difficult to monitor costs closely.  Rapport provides clients with cost certainty, and we offer an open book tender process. Design and Build companies are useful if you have limited time and limitless budgets.

We can be appointed to work in two ways;

  1. We plan and detail the design packages. From this, we prepare the contract scope of works which in turn is tendered to main contractors.  Through an open book tender, we select the main contractor and manage the fit-out process on behalf of our client.
  2. As an independent unbiased advisor, we can be appointed to oversee a Design and Build Company.

UK Broadband and Jagermeister appointed Rapport in this capacity to check design practicalities and cost associations within the design and build process.  We can help monitor costs and performance through the programme as an Employers Agent.

With an excellent track record in project managing office fit-outs for end-user clients, our projects range in value from £20,000 to £1.2 million.

Having Rapport on your team ensures expertise on design, and removes additional costly contractor layers throughout the project programme.

We are always delighted to hear from those working on a workspace design or fit-out project.  You can speak with us on 01252 712590 or email us at info@rapport-solutions.org.uk.

You can view our portfolio of work here

Office Design Case Study: SBHG

SBHGMoving offices is a significant investment for any business, and we are proud to have worked on some incredible projects over the years across a variety of sectors including; media, banking, finance and technology with a strong portfolio of projects for housing associations.

Throughout our time in the industry, we have built many strong relationships with our clients. And at the core of our business is Rapport. We believe it is a crucial component to the successful outcome of a project, from a clear brief.

In particular, Rapport was integral to two for Shepherds Bush Housing Group (SBHG) including SBHG HQ and SBHG Craft Court. We sat down with David Blackburn, to talk through his time at SBHG on the projects and to understand the learnings and effectiveness of both projects. David, as Director of Business Support, was key to the success of the project supporting internal communication between staff, management and the delivery team.

David, what learnings did you take away from working with Rapport on the Shepherds Bush housing projects?

Your office accommodation is one of your most valuable assets. Over the life of your tenure, you need to ensure you manage the space in a way that is responsive, affordable, sustainable and safe; leveraging the floor plan as a tool to support organisational culture and assist in the delivery of ever more efficient and effective services.

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Our recent appointment to redesign Fish Financial’s offices in Farnham, Surrey is now well underway. Our brief is to increase staff engagement and revitalise the workforce with an office that reflected our clients’ focus to modernise the workplace, implement activity-based working and improve presentation facilities.

Following a detailed design process, our selected contractors are on-site with phase one almost complete.  The design includes a stunning new reception area, board room and flexible presentation facilities.

To speak to us about your office move, design or fit-out contact us on – 01252 712590 – info@rapport-solutions.org.uk

To view our portfolio of work, click here.